My husband and I enjoy taking personality tests for fun, partly because it can be a useful tool to help you understand your spouse better, but mostly because we think the results are hilarious. In every test we take we end up on opposite ends of the spectrum! The most entertaining ones are the tests which say: ‘if you are x personality, don’t marry y personality’. That’s us, x and y, happily married despite our apparently incompatible personalities! We were pondering this seeming oxymoron and wondered how we ended up having a good marriage when most psychiatrists would tell us that, humanly speaking, we are not compatible. And it occurred to us that although we may be very different personalities, when it comes to character we value the same things. We both appreciate honesty, forthrightness, responsibility, trustworthiness, reliability, perseverance, creativity, etc … Given that we were both raised in Reformed churches by parents of Dutch descent, in families similar in belief and values, it is not surprising that we have similar characters. Character, unlike temperament or personality, is not something we are born with but grows over time based on our upbringing and beliefs. Godly character is the result of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

If character is grown over time, based on our beliefs and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, then it follows that character is malleable. It is able to be formed from a young age, and continues to be formed throughout our lives, based on our circumstances and our reactions to them. The book of Proverbs in the Bible probably has more to say on the formation of character than any other book. Solomon’s wisdom for building character is the main thrust of the entire book of Proverbs. These sayings of